Monday 5 June 2017

Winding down......

Updating my latest running log book this morning I discovered I've run 39,600miles, over 1½ times round the equator.
My thanks to Terry Lonergan of Complete Runner for this birthday greeting - and for the smart vest I'm wearing.     (Click pictures to enlarge)
No wonder I'm feeling a little tired. Since returning from Menorca runs have been reduced to just three a week, though I've extended some of them a little. 
Bluebells enhancing a run back o' Grimwith
and a cuckoo called
Bluebell woods and cuckoo haunts added a couple of miles to my Castle Hill route whilst back in the Dales we ticked off a seven mile run that used to be a favourite of ours until it got too churned up with rampaging beasties. It's dried out now and a pleasure to run again.
Please let me through
I think the local Charolais cows and calves think I'm quite harmless for they allow me to burst through the herd without incident. One of them, playfully I thought, blocked a stile on my way to Castle Hill the other morning and no matter how hard I pushed, it wouldn't move.  I turned my back on it and it walked back a couple of yards, maybe having lost interest. I think it laughed as I ran by...
Son Alasdair and partner Angela in Hebden Ghyll
I'm missing Menorca sunshine and warmth but it's good to get back to old haunts of which I never tire.  My eldest son and his partner, Alasdair and Angela, favoured us with a visit last week.
Zoom on a ring ouzel
 Alasdair is a keen ornithologist and was anxious to see if ring ouzels had returned to their nest sites up the ghyll.  They had but proved awfully difficult to photograph though we hung around patiently for quite some time. Another visit is called for. When the rain stops...
A happy little meadow pipit
We enjoy walking with Alasdair.  He has eyes like a hawk.  Consequently, the number of species observed with him is considerably more than when we're walking by ourselves.
Hawkeye on the lookout.
What's more, he knows what they all are, can recognize their calls and focuses his binoculars in a matter of seconds.  Ironically, he'd come to Hebden to drive me home for an appointment with my Consultant eye specialist early the following morning.
The news was not good....
Bare House run
On another day we ran the 7 mile Bare House route in glorious sunshine passing less than half a dozen people throughout.  It involves over 750ft of ascent, so can be a bit tough on old legs.  But we coped well.
We got the blue carpet treatment where speedwell lined the trail towards Yarnbury and a myriad mountain pansies turned their yellow faces to salute the sun. High in the clear air a tiny black dot against a fluffy white cloud showered larksong over us.

The wonderful downhill run to Grassington.
We love its two miles of fast downhill to the 5 mile marker at Grassington, leaping over stiles and scattering surprised sheep before the trog back along High Lane and through flowery SSSI fields to Hebden.
Zooming in to early purples in the SSSI area.
Orchids are starting to bloom but we declined to make trails towards them through the grass that would show others their whereabouts. Not that we don't trust people you understand!
Stepping stones across the Wharfe at Linton
Water was quite low in the River Wharfe on a day we ran along its banks in a cooling westerly breeze.  A Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme group were heading for Grassington under their loads, girls marching cheerfully ahead, boys looking a wee bit miserable to the rear.
Happy to be running on such a braw day
An albino duck accompanied a pair of mallard while nearby a gaudy mandarin drake and female goosander appeared to be having a siesta in a calm stretch of water. Over and around them, a solitary sand martin hawked back and forth in search of morsels. Such sights make welcome breaks as we stop and stare.
It's not all about running.


  1. Happy Birthday.
    That is a LOT of miles. Love the picture with those beautiful stone walls.

    1. Thanks for the birthday good wishes Karen, and nice to hear from you again. Maybe if you'd logged all those miles you walk on a daily basis, they'd add up to more than those I've run. Cheers!

  2. Where have the years gone? I can remember reading your blog before the big 80, and 5 years on you are still trotting on the trails and showing your pictures and telling us your tail!

    long may it last, let only the speed wind down (not that we want that either!)

    1. Yeah, wish I was still your age. Sadly the years seem to fly past a lot quicker when you get to my age Coach. There are still many things to do, lots of places to go and I fear I'm not going to fit them all in. But I'll keep trying! Cheers!

  3. What a wonderful milestone and what a fantastic accomplishment to celebrate it with! I sadly haven't recorded all my life miles to date, and can only hope that it will one day be as impressive as yours. Many blessings for the year ahead!

    1. Thanks Karien. I've religiously recorded every mile run since that fateful first one on April 9th, 1986. Dunno why, I never expected things to go on so long. But glad I did.
      Come to think of it, you're not doing too badly yourself, clocking up 100 Parkruns. I've only run three so a bit of catching up to do...
      Sending you best wishes...

  4. Many good wishes for your birthday, and may the year ahead be a good one.

    Lovely photographs on your post, I just love to see wildflowers growing.

    All the best Jan

  5. Happy Birthday Gordon, and may there be many more.
    Carry on Running!